As part of its increasing effort to improve taxpayer interactions, the IRS has introduced an online tool that allows users to see their account balances, including what they owe for taxes, interest, and penalties.
“The new ‘balance due’ feature, paired with the existing online payment options, will increase the availability of self-service interactions with the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a prepared statement. “This will give taxpayers another way to take care of their tax obligations in a fast and secure manner.”
The agency expects to add more features to the new application as they are tested.
Before using the new web tool, taxpayers must log into Secure Access, the dual-authentication process the IRS uses to help ensure online protection.
Taxpayers who have used this process before need to have their username and password, and the login will be completed after they enter a security code that is sent to their cellphones.
Those who previously registered with Secure Access for the Get Transcript Online or Get an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number applications can use the same username and password.
First-timers will need their email address, a text-enabled mobile phone in their name, and financial information, such as a credit card number or specific loan numbers, to register with Secure Access.
The IRS cautions that in verifying taxpayers’ identities, it will send activation or security codes by email and text. The agency does not ask for login information or personal data. The codes sent are for one-time use only.
About Terry Sheridan
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.